String splicing: often the best option

String splicing: often the best option

When a string breaks on a piano, it often breaks at or very near the tuning pin. This means the majority of the string’s length is still perfectly viable, and in fact is ideally suited to the rest of the piano in age, timbre, and general wear. In these cases, it’s often best to splice the string (tie a knot, essentially), creating a new lead wire to attach to the tuning pin, but leaving the rest of the string’s length almost exactly as it was before. This is especially preferable on bass strings, where the length of the string and the thickness of the copper winding is completely customized, meaning a replacement string must be a custom order, and even still will not match the old strings very well in timbre and appearance. The picture is of a recent splice on a customer’s old spinet piano. The piano is not… Read More

Does homeowners’ insurance cover piano damage?

Does homeowners’ insurance cover piano damage?

Water got inside this piano due to a home water leak in the ceiling above it. Notice the significant rust on the strings to the left, and mold and discoloration on the hammers to the right. Fortunately, in this case, homeowners insurance covered the cost of replacing the hammers and the strings in this piano, since the damage was not structural or pervasive and repair costs did not exceed the value of the instrument.  Most homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies will cover damage to pianos that is the result of water, smoke, fire, other types of home damage, or natural disasters. I’m happy to provide an estimate of repair costs for insurance purposes and will work with your insurance company to determine the best solution.

Know your piano warranty

Know your piano warranty

This is a broken connector elbow for the pedal mechanism in an upright piano that was less than 5 years old. Many people do not realize that repairs such as this are almost always covered by warranty, and for at least 10 years (sometimes longer). Most manufacturers will even cover the cost of the service call for a technician to come out and replace the part. If you own a piano that is less than 25 years old, even if you’re not the original owner, look up warranty information and know what’s covered! You might be pleasantly surprised, particularly when something breaks or goes wrong that you don’t have the cash on hand to fix. If you have any questions about repairs on your piano, warranty or not, feel free to contact me.